7 injured, boats set on fire as fishermen clash over use of 'ring net' in Visakhapatnam
Seven people were injured and at least six boats set on fire during clashes between two groups of fishermen in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday. The clashes broke out over the use of 'ring net' in the restricted area of the Bay of Bengal.
Police commissioner Manish Kumar Sinha told news agency ANI that prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in Vasavanipalem and Jalaripeta areas, where violence took place.
According to the police, the fishermen attacked each other in their mechanised boats and started chasing each other in the waters. Many of them also fell off the boats.
A large group of policemen rushed to the spot to pacify the fishermen and prevent further incidents. Police pickets have also been set up to prevent further clashes between the two groups.
Earlier too, such clashes have taken place between fisherfolk who use traditional nets and those who use ring nets. While ring net fishing is banned within eight kilometres of the coast, the practice continues unabated.
A ring net is a long net that is used to surround fish with a 'wall' of netting. It is similar to purse seine but without any running purse line. It is usually used on a smaller scale, to capture shoal fish.
The fishermen are opposed to the use of these nets because it captures everything that it encloses. They say that the ring net used by trawlers leaves local fishemen with no catch.
The ban on using the ring nets was announced by the Andhra Pradesh government in December, 2020.